Rebuilt and Reopened

For Gerry and Maggie McQuillan, celebrating two years in business has taken on special meaning; they have rebuilt their Minuteman Press franchise in London North after a devastating total loss fire this past June. With encouragement from the community and ongoing support from Minuteman Press International, Gerry and Maggie are back up and running and doing what they love to do: Provide helpful products and services to their customers.gi_119112_gerry-and-maggie-mcquillan-minuteman-press-franchise-london-north-ontario

The Minuteman Press franchise in London North, Ontario, Canada is celebrating two years in business. This could not be a prouder moment for business owners Gerry and Maggie McQuillan, as this milestone comes off the heels of a devastating total loss fire that they endured this past June. “We are excited to get back to normal,” says Gerry. He adds, “We just reopened in September and to celebrate our two-year anniversary with our customers is a real blessing that helps us continue to turn the page.”
Life Before Franchising

Gerry McQuillan spent 27 years in the automotive manufacturing field, where he worked his way up to Operations Manager. During that time, Gerry and Maggie moved around while raising a small family. When there was major downsizing in the auto industry in the late 2000s, Gerry switched careers and landed a job as a VP of Operations for a small agricultural company. “This first transition gave me confidence that I could continue my career in a new direction,” says Gerry. It planted the seeds for what would come later.

Discovering Minuteman Press
After Gerry and Maggie successfully raised their two children, they started looking at franchise opportunities possibility for Maggie as she reentered the workforce. Gerry explains, “As my career continued to transition, franchising was something that we decided to look at more openly for the two of us. We found Minuteman Press International at one of the franchise shows we attended and liked that is was a business to business style opportunity. We also liked that Maggie and I could both learn and participate in the franchise, and that the business operated primarily during traditional Monday through Friday business hours.”
“Something more tangible for my family”
When asked to compare his experiences as a Minuteman Press franchise owner to his previous work experiences, Gerry is quick to answer, “We started a new Minuteman Press franchise. There is satisfaction that my work ethic is building something more tangible for my family versus the years spent in the factories. With Maggie and I as partners in this business, we have the chance to collaborate and treat our customers with a special touch that we know is something that sets us apart.”
Gerry also appreciates the ongoing local support that Minuteman Press International makes available to owners like he and Maggie, as well as the mass purchasing power that the franchise has with suppliers. He says, “Being in the franchise allows us to call any well-known brand supplier, say we are with Minuteman Press, and we are instantly a wholesale distributor for that brand. Also, as customers ask us to fulfill new requests for expanded goods and services, our local field representative is a quick call away with positive direction.”
Reopening the Business and Celebrating Two Years
Earlier this year in June, a devastating fire at 1700 Hyde Park Road consumed the entire plaza including Minuteman Press. Luckily, no one was injured during the fire, but the devastation still took its toll on business owners like Gerry and Maggie.
In September, Minuteman Press reopened at their new location at 1615 North Routledge Park, Unit 14. “The fact that we are back up and running and that we are able to celebrate two years in business with our clients, it means everything,” says Gerry. He adds, “It’s a testament to our community as well as our franchisor Minuteman Press International that we are able to be back up and running and ready to serve our customers once again.”
“We couldn’t be more thrilled to congratulate Gerry and Maggie McQuillan on celebrating two years in business as part of the Minuteman Press franchise family,” says Kevin Wittal, Minuteman Press International Regional Vice President for Eastern Canada. “With everything they have overcome, it is especially rewarding to see them back in business at their new London North location so they can commemorate their two-year anniversary with their clients.”
Back to Normal
Gerry and Maggie McQuillan both relish the idea of “getting back to normal.” A typical day for them now that they are back in business includes the typical necessities such as opening their doors and making the coffee. Gerry states, “From there, we review the design and print requirements for the day, follow up on emails and phone calls, and do our marketing.”
When they do have time off, Gerry and Maggie enjoy being poolside with family and friends in the summer, and love snowmobiling in Ontario during the winter months. Another thing they really enjoy is giving back to the community. Gerry says, “We have sponsored some local area initiatives by providing printed materials for the local neighborhood yard sales and supported a group that provides socks to people who are experiencing a time of need.”
Business Goals and Advice for Others
With 2017 on the horizon, Gerry and Maggie McQuillan are looking to finish 2016 on a solid note and continue laying the groundwork for growth in the future. Gerry says, “As we have just celebrated our second anniversary, continued learning and steady business growth top our list of goals.”
What is Gerry McQuillan’s final piece of advice for aspiring business owners? “It is actually a quote from Thomas Edison I remember seeing in a notepad of inspirational quotes: ‘Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.’ In other words, the opportunities are there but you are the one that has to know what to look for, then roll up your sleeves and do the work.”
Gerry and Maggie McQuillan’s Minuteman Press franchise is located at 1615 North Routledge Park; Unit 14; London, ON N6H 5L6. For more information, call Gerry, Maggie and their team at (519) 473-8585 or visit their website:
About Minuteman Press International
Minuteman Press International is a number one rated business service franchise that offers world class training and unparalleled ongoing local support. Started in 1973 by Roy Titus and his son Bob, Minuteman Press began franchising in 1975 and has grown to over 950 locations worldwide including the U.S., Australia, Canada, South Africa, and the United Kingdom. Minuteman Press is rated #1 in category by Entrepreneur for 13 years in a row and 24 times overall, including 2016. We are the modern version of the printing industry, providing high quality products and services for businesses that go way beyond just ink on paper. Today our stores produce promotional products, custom apparel, direct mail advertising, large format printing (banners and posters), signs, and much more. Prior experience is not necessary to own and operate a successful Minuteman Press franchise.

WANTED: Entrepreneurs, Small Business Owners and Business Development Specialists

warmooseDo YOU have what it takes to join an elite group of business professionals supporting each other right here in the Forest City?

The Forest City Allies is an independent “think tank” of highly successful business owners and business development specialists.

Our mission is simple. To assist one another on our entrepreneurial journeys by providing education, skills development and business referrals.

Currently we are seeking business professionals to contribute their expertise for the following available seats:

  • Accounting & Tax Services
  • P.O.S. Merchant Services
  • Lawyer
  • Personal Trainer
  • Florist
  • Plumber
  • Roofer
  • Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning
  • Auto Repair
  • Auto Sales
  • Web Designer / Search Engine Optimization
  • Graphic Design
  • Marketing & Advertising
  • Senior’s Care
  • Dental Care
  • Physiotherapy
  • Dietician
  • Optimologist
  • ….And much, much more!

Click here to view our full Membership List

Each week we feature an educational theme that is related to business management, salesmanship, marketing and customer service. We also feature one member’s business to educate the group on the services they offer and the benefits of their service. This helps us gain valuable insight about one another’s business in order to generate word-of-mouth referrals.

Your Next Steps:

IF YOU are interested in attending one of our meetings, please contact us so that we can reserve a seat for you!

Risk and Asset Allocation

Today Azfar J. Ahmad discussed Risk and Asset Allocation and the association between the two. He highlighted how investors need to consider where they are in their life economically to consider how to invest. It is important to understand that risk aversion is not just about making more returns on their money as more risk is taken on, it is also about how the income being generated within the investments are paid out. I.e.. Interest, dividends, capital gains and/or return of capital. He led the dicussion about MERs, like what does it mean when an investment has a …” 1.2% MER”? How does this number affect the rate of return on the investment? And lastly, he encouraged us to always consider weighted averages when it comes to rates of return.

Azfar would be happy to speak with any and all regarding structuring your new or existing portfolio. If you have any questions on if there are any minimums to invest or anything of that nature, he would be happy to lend a hand.

Azfar works within a team of three; himself, a colleague and a support staff. He have access to all investments and is in no way biased to any investment house when it comes to the investments themselves.

He is a Certified Financial Planner (CFP) registered with the Financial Planners Standard Council (FPSC), a Personal Financial Planner (PFP) and Financial Management Advisor (FMA), both registered with the Canadian Securities Institute (CSI).

You can contact Azfar Ahmad by phone or email by going to his profile information page.